The Dawn Duellist Society teach classes every week. These classes are led by instructors with years of experience and research behind them, who have been approved and assessed for teaching by their peers using strict criteria for everything from class safety to class atmosphere.
Though dedicated they’ve still got a sense of fun and these certifiably sword-obsessed lunatics spend time planning their classes, then turn up and teach for nothing more than their love of the art.
Finn joined the DDS in 2008 for a term of sword & buckler after being persuaded to go along by a friend. She was a little afraid it would be a bit ‘fight club’, and she would come home black and blue, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Finn has stayed with sword & buckler throughout her time in the DDS and, mentored by Matt Noel, qualified as an instructor in July 2011. As well as attending many workshops in ‘anything interesting that comes my way’, Finn has also studied Italian and German longsword, military sabre, knife, sidesword and her second love, Italian rapier.
Finn has long served as DDS treasurer until January 2016 and has done much to reform the book and record keeping standards in the Society.
A self-described “howling Medievalist”, Martin Page teaches the Tuesday German Longsword class. He was one of the driving forces behind the small DDS study group that spent five years reconstructing the German system based entirely on original texts and – sometimes painful – experimentation.
Martin claims that he was a complete klutz back when he joined DDS, and once hit himself on the head with his own sword. However, we would like to think that this and his boundless enthusiasm makes him a better and more sympathetic instructor.
Martin is currently President of the DDS and is concentrating his efforts on guiding the Society into the future.
Despite initial doubts about fencing while watching people play with foils, Jean-Loup became convinced fencing was an art worth pursuing when given the chance to play with a rapier. This was in January 2003, and since then he has worked towards learning all that can be learned about the rapier.
He joined the DDS in September 2006 and has been active in the club since then, actively researching Italian and French styles spanning a period of about 80 years. The treatises he worked on in various degrees include Sainct Didier, Capo Ferro, Di Grassi, Thibault and most recently Agrippa.
In the odd time when the old re-enactment flames burns up again, his interest mostly lies with the southern-side of the English channel in the early years of King Louis XIII, fuelled by a keen interest in the works of Dumas. Other weapons of interest include the sabre, smallsword and sword & buckler.
Jean-Loup has previously served as DDS secretary and currently looks after this very website
Affectionately known as ‘Dragal’, Gregory joined the DDS a number of years ago. Exactly how long ago, or why, he isn’t quite sure but one thing that is certain is his love of and dedication to his art.
Dragal started out with longsword and has studied a number of weapons over the years, finally settling on Fiore dagger and military sabre as his main interests. He leads study groups in both weapons and having studied the works of Alfred Hutton, he is currently exploring ‘Lessons in Sabre’ by John Musgrave Waite (1880).
Dragal will be instructing the military sabre class using his research on Waite’s system so we will all get a chance to enjoy the fruits of his labour and learn Waite’s interesting sabre style.